SUNBURY 57 defeated EAST POINT 36
LITTLE more than two years ago Sunbury could not field a netball team.
Now it is in the Ballarat Football Netball League grand final.
In what has been a remarkable turnaround for the Eastern Lions, they proved far too strong for East Point on Saturday, winning by a massive 21 goals to take a direct route through to the grand final.
Having secured the double chance last week by beating Redan after finishing third, Sunbury turned its attention towards dismantling the Kangaroos in the second semi final.
And it did so with a powerful strike.
Although Sunbury was thrilled with the win, the 57-36 victory did not reflect the tight nature of the contest, according to coach Kim Bailey.
Sophie Gunn shot an outstanding 51 goals for Sunbury at 83 per cent, staking her claim as the most damaging player in the BFNL.
"We got the right feed into Sophie all day, which we had really focused on," Bailey said.
"When you've got the ball coming well into Sophie, she is nearly impossible to stop."
Having forfeited the opening seven rounds of 2011 before going through the season without a win, Sunbury has burst onto the netball scene this year with a batch of new and somewhat unknown recruits in the BFNL.
Although they struggled to field a full-strength line-up for most of the season, the Eastern Lions are now in dominant form with their best players on the court.
"It's great for the club," Bailey said. "These girls have gelled very quickly. They are experienced netballers but for them to come together so quick and turn things around is great."
Bailey said the week's rest before the finals would come in more than handy.
Prue Stanley rolled her ankle badly and Hayley Macklie also pulled up sore.
In the other match at the weekend, North Ballarat City proved too strong for Melton in the cut-throat semi final, winning 49-45.
North will go on to play East Point in the preliminary final next week.